Alfred Schnittke & Arvo Pärt: Choral Works Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir & Kaspars Putniņš

Cover Alfred Schnittke & Arvo Pärt: Choral Works

Album info



Label: BIS

Genre: Classical

Subgenre: Chamber Music

Album including Album cover Booklet (PDF)


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  • Alfred Schnittke (1934 - 1998): Psalms of Repentance:
  • 1No. 1, Adam Sat Weeping at the Gates of Paradise02:40
  • 2No. 2, O Wilderness, Gather Me to Your Silent and Gentle Lap04:09
  • 3No. 3, That Is Why I Live in Poverty02:46
  • 4No. 4, My Soul, Why Are You in a State of Sin?02:20
  • 5No. 5, O Man, Doomed and Wretched02:59
  • 6No. 6, When They Beheld the Ship That Suddenly Came01:46
  • 7No. 7, Oh My Soul, Why Are You Not Afraid?05:13
  • 8No. 8, If You Wish to Overcome Unending Sorrow01:54
  • 9No. 9, I Have Reflected on My Life as a Monk06:28
  • 10No. 10, Christian People, Gather Together!03:38
  • 11No. 11, I Entered This Life of Tears a Naked Infant03:31
  • 12No. 12, (Wordless Humming)07:12
  • Arvo Pärt (1935):
  • 13Magnificat07:14
  • 14Nunc Dimittis06:33
  • Total Runtime58:23

Info for Alfred Schnittke & Arvo Pärt: Choral Works

Alfred Schnittke and Arvo Pärt lived through times of remarkable change in the last decades of the Soviet Union. From the 1970s, state restrictions on religion were gradually relaxed and this was reflected in the arts and especially in music. Schnittke’s adoption of Christianity was triggered by the death of his mother in 1972, and culminated in his later conversion to Catholicism. Pärt was from a nominally Lutheran background in Estonia, but embraced the Orthodox faith in the 1970s, following intensive study of liturgical music. Both composers began to incorporate religious themes into their work, moving away from the modernist abstraction that had characterized their early careers.

Schnittke’s large-scale Psalms of Repentance were composed in 1988 for the celebrations for the millennium of Christianity in Russia. The texts come from an anonymous collection of poems for Lent, written in the 16th century, and in his settings Schnittke engages with the traditions of chant-based Orthodox liturgical music. The Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir and Kaspars Putniņš have chosen to combine Schnittke’s Psalms with two shorter works by Arvo Pärt, whose music they are well-known exponents of. Like the Psalms, Pärt’s pieces are composed in a quasi-liturgical style, and with its serene atmosphere, his Nunc dimittis forms a natural counterpart to the Magnificat even though the two were written more than a decade apart.

Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir
Kaspars Putnins, conductor

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Booklet for Alfred Schnittke & Arvo Pärt: Choral Works

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